The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
As I read about the history of the English garden, I come across an assortment of books and articles, some recent, some not.
The other day I came across an article, written a few years ago, in the Los Angeles Times, “Just Add Tea and Crumpets” by writer and photographer Ariel Swartley. She wrote: “Few phrases are more magical than ‘English garden.’ ” She goes on to describe the lengths that some American gardeners take in order to be able to say they own a bit of the English garden on their own turf.
Then she asked the following questions: “What is it, I wonder, that’s so seductive about the idea of an English garden? Why does a style that took shape a continent away still have such a powerful hold on our imaginations?”
Her questions seem pertinent today as well. We still admire much about the English garden.
If you ask someone to define the English garden, you will get as many answers as people you ask. They might include such garden styles as a cottage garden, a lawn, or a border of perennials.
Today the myth of the English garden continues in American gardening.